BAFRA Newsflash

Issue: 21/16

26th May 2016


The exam period is now closed. 134 members attempted the exam including a number of associate officials. The overall average score was 75.39% which was some 1.26 lower than last year with a median score of 73. The top score was 98 which was achieved by two people (congratulations to them) and in all, 19 scored 90 or above.

Information may be found in the Training, Assessment and Review Policy about the level of scores each grade of official should aim for. Details may be found at:

The three questions that were answered incorrectly most often were (in order) 62, 34 and 45. There was no question that everyone answered correctly. Thanks to the Examination Committee (including the testers) for their hard work this year.

Les Connor

Examination Committee Chair


As reported last week, our Director of Recruitment, Kevin Stanton, has had to step down from the role for personal reasons. I am sure that all members will wish to join the directors in thanking Kevin for the significant contribution he made to BAFRA during his tenure.

This leaves a vacancy for this vital role. Expressions of interest are invited and should be sent to me by 31st May. By our Regulations, the directors may appoint to the role until the next AGM but it will be for the member to make an appointment of their choice at that time. Therefore the initial commitment is only until the end of March 2017.

John Griffin has offered to cover the role until an appointment is made and will be happy to remain as deputy to the new director. However, he has indicated that he is not in a position to accept the post on a full time basis.

If you are considering the role and want more information, please contact me by e-mail. Whilst people have contacted for information, no-one has yet put themselves forward for the post. So if you are considering applying, please let me know.

Paul Sutton


The minutes of the May Board meeting are available on the member’s section of the website at:

Paul Sutton


As we enter the second part of the season the number of officials available to work games in June is dropping considerably. In particular we have a very busy week on 11th/12th June so if anyone who is shown unavailable does become able to work a game then please contact

While I recognise that there are many competing demands on your time but I ask that all active officials to make every effort to be available whenever possible at this busy time.

Thanks for your continuing co-operation and support.

Richard Vernon


Now that the Annual Examination is complete the process of selecting the 21 members of the BEP can commence. Should you wish to be considered then you must apply in writing to the Director of Operations at Applications will be accepted immediately and the closing date is Friday 4th June 2016.

Applications will only be considered from Qualified BAFRA members who meet specific criteria. Full details of the criteria can be found in the Elite Programme Policy in Section 7 of the Members Handbook. An Elite Training Day is already planned for 29th May with others to be confirmed shortly.

Also, as part of the criteria includes your rating on the Selection Spreadsheet, which must be 80% or above, I would also recommend you read the Scheduling and Selection Policy which can be found in Section 6 of the Members Handbook. If you wish to know your current rating on the Selection Spreadsheet before making your decision on whether or not to apply, please send an email to and I will come back to you very quickly with a detailed breakdown of your scores.

If it is your intention to apply then I would recommend that you read the document in full. If you are considering applying and would like an informal discussion please contact either me or Ben Griffiths who is the BEP Co-ordinator.

Richard Vernon


For the benefit of new officials, and to remind others, the BAFRA Selection Committee uses a Spreadsheet to assist in making selection decisions. It contains data/scores on every active official in the following areas:

Exam Score, Assessment, Coaches Card, Game Report, Experience, Judgement, Pressure and Overall Ranking.

This information about you is available to you at all times. So if you would like your latest spreadsheet information it is now available. I have already had 20+ requests for this data and I will start sending replying to them next week. If you want to know your scores in these various categories then contact me at or

All requests will be treated confidentially.

Richard Vernon









New this week

Richard Leir


Merseyside Nighthawks



Player verbally taunted an opponent, then later shoved an opponent clearly after the ball was dead.

05/06/16 v Coventry Jets

Liam Berndt


West Coast Trojans



Player struck the opposing QB helmet to helmet, just after he had thrown a pass.

05/06/16 v Gateshead Senators

Jack Watson


Lancashire Wolverines



Player kicked a prone opponent studs first.

05/06/16 v East Kilbride Pirates

Previous weeks

Steven Clements


Essex Spartans



Player grasped the facemask of and threw punches at an opponent.

05/06/16 v Cambridgeshire Cats





New this week

Portsmouth Dreadnoughts

The game was played at Portsmouth's new venue at Havant Rugby Club. Although this match was played on an outer pitch, later in the season they will be playing on the 1st XV pitch. Each end zone was only 7 yards deep. Not all hash marks were the same distance apart. No limit lines. Some bare patches of earth on the field. One of the ball boys was very good but the other was poor.

Jim Briggs 31

19/06/16 v East Kent Mavericks

Merseyside Nighthawks

Game started 30 minutes late due to the lack of medical cover. Lines are painted in yellow and not all short yard-line extensions lined-up correctly.

Aminul Hassan 534

05/06/16 v Coventry Jets

London Warriors

90-yard grass field, although surface was uneven with patches of bare earth interspersed with large tufts of uncut grass. No numbers, 9-yard marks or limit lines and team areas marked out with cones. Two of the game balls provided were under-inflated and all were well worn. Away team were offered the option to provide game balls in better condition but declined. Away team changing rooms were a tent compared with the home team changing indoors. Prior to the officials taking the field there were reports of altercations between players interfering with opponent's practices by entering their half of the field.

Tim Ockendon 481

03/07/16 v London Olympians

Jurassic Coast Raptors

This was the first game ever for the chain crew but despite this they performed very well. It is hoped that they will come on during future games as they are going to do all their home games.

Julian Mallia 336

26/06/16 v Cornish Sharks

Humber Warhawks

Limit Lines at 12', no 9yd marks or numbers.

Chris Jarvis 10

26/06/16 v Lincolnshire Bombers

Dundee Hurricanes

The balls presented by the home team did not have white stripes - the away team did not object or offer any alternate balls.

Ian Sneddon 427

24/07/16 v Northumberland Lightening

Coventry Jets

No numbers or 9-yard marks. No limit lines. Goal posts less than 30ft in height. Hash marks shorter than 24in in length. Coaching and team area lines were marked further from the field than specified in the rules. The officials changing room was not available on arrival having also been allocated to a womens' soccer team.

Pete Parsons 321

12/06/16 v Sheffield Predators

Yorkshire Rams

There was a metal cover for the long jump pit approximately 4 feet out of bounds behind one endzone - this had been appropriately padded by game management prior to kick-off.

Ben Griffiths 228

12/06/16 v Clyde Valley Blackhawks

Chester Romans

Red lines used to mark the field. There were also lines for other sports which were in white.

Aminul Hassan 534

05/06/16 v Halton Spartans

Bristol Aztecs

Field is generally well marked out, but the limit lines are too close to the sidelines (approx 6 foot), and the coaching areas are only marked out to the 30 yard lines.

Colin Edwards 76

05/06/16 v London Warriors

Outstanding items from previous weeks

Berkshire Renegades

During the forth quarter, the medical provision was not met due to the paramedic at the game being taken away to treat a delivery van driver. The game was delayed for 20 minutes while appropriate treatment and an ambulance arrived before the game was able to be restarted.

Richard Moger #472

12/06/16 v Hastings Conquerors

Bristol Apache

Field is generally well marked out, but the limit lines are too close to the sidelines (approx 6 foot), and the coaching areas are only marked out to the 30 yard lines.

Colin Edwards #76

10/07/16 v Torbay Trojans

Hastings Conquerors

Kickoff delayed due to balls being sourced and brought up to standard. No access to officials changing rooms at half time. Had to wait 20 minutes after end of game to gain access to changing facilities.

Phil Hume #52

19/06/16 v Maidstone Pumas

Birmingham Bulls

One goal is regulation, the other is a Gaelic football goal.

Brian Yates #29

19/06/16 v Sandwell Steelers

Essex Spartans

Well-marked 90 yard field missing only limit lines and with numbers slightly too big. Good size changing room but with no private toilet or shower and not lockable. One officials' assistant changed in the first half due to inability to remain neutral.

Tim Ockendon #481

05/06/16 v Cambridgeshire Cats

Sussex Thunder

The game kicked off 15 minutes late. The medical cover was delayed by heavy traffic heading into Brighton.

Jim Briggs #31

03/07/16 v Hertfordshire Chetahs

Swindon Storm

Width was greater than 160ft. Several lines were crooked and the short yard line extensions went over one sideline. The inbound hash marks were 59ft from one sideline and 61ft from the other.

Euan Paterson #165

05/06/16 v Bristol Apache

Solent Thrashers

Crossbar and uprights 1 yard inside end line.

Julian Mallia #336

12/06/16 v Bury Saints

Bournemouth Bobcats

The game kicked-off 30mins late due to traffic congestion. Despite away team and officials allowing for this and leaving home earlier, the New Forest and roads to Bournemouth were very busy due to the fantastic weather this weekend. Hastings Head Coach requested a running clock in the second half.

Siman Ryan #408

19/06/16 v Berkshire Renegades

East Kent Mavericks

Well-marked 90 yard 4G field in blue with other sport markings in white and yellow. No limit lines, numbers or 9-yard marks and coaching line too close to sideline. Changing facilities not lockable and officials were given the staff bathroom to change in as the away team complained about their changing room so were moved to the one normally given to the officials. Ball person changed in 2nd quarter as they were more interested in talking to spectators about 20 yards away from the sideline, replacement ball person drove off at halftime and took the game ball with them; so a third replacement ball person was supplied along with a new game ball.

Phil Clarke #262

12/06/16 v Bournemouth Bobcats

Maidstone Pumas

Goals are soccer goals with metal poles on top so crossbar too low and too wide. Lines have been repainted but some wonky. Coaches lines too close to pitch. No numbers but marks about 8-9 yards from sideline

Ellis Bowyer #502

05/06/16 v Portsmouth Dreadnoughts

Carlisle Sentinels

The posts were about 2 yards behind the back line at each end of the field apart from this it was a well marked pitch. The officials changing room may be a little small for a crew of 5 if all wanted to change at the same time

Lee Taylor #183

12/06/16 v Newcastle Vikings

Glasgow Tigers

Team areas were marked out incorrectly as coach's box and player area were too close to sideline. Some sideline hash marks did not match inbounds lines.

Shawn Sombati #15

12/06/16 v Aberdeen Roughnecks

London Blitz B

The game did not take place as the field was marked for rugby with no football markings whatsoever.

Pete Thom #200

05/06/16 v Ipswich Cardinals

Manchester Titans

Following the agreement of both coaches, prior to the game the quarters were reduced to 12 minutes. This was because of a lack of available ineligible linemen for Gateshead. The field was very sandy in places. The field markings were in blue and there were other white non-football lines.

Aminul Hassan #534

12/06/16 v West Coast Trojans

Oxford Saints

Nine yard marks were marked near the hashmarks. No numbers on the field. Changing room was too small for a five man crew and not enough seats for all officials.

Mike LeFevre #341

03/07/16 v Bristol Apache



New this week

Play: On a try at Team B's 3 yard line, A19’s pass is intercepted by B99 in Team B’s end zone. B99 fumbles the ball while still in the end zone where B68 bats the ball across the end line. Ruling? (This was Q34 on this year's BAFRA exam)

Last week

Play: Third and 4 on B's 8. The score is A20-B21 with five seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. Team A is in a scrimmage kick formation. Holder A16 rises to catch a high snap and immediately grounds the ball with a forward pass. Two seconds remain on the clock.

Ruling: A's ball, 4th and 4, on B's 8. The clock starts on the snap. Incomplete legal forward pass. A forward pass is illegal if, to conserve time, the pass is not thrown immediately after the ball is first controlled after the snap or is thrown after the ball has touched the ground (7-3-2-f). A16 caught the snap and immediately grounded the ball legally. No foul.


New this week

Game Situation: On which side of the field should a referee on a 4 man crew position himself before a scrimmage kick play? How does his position need to varied between a 4 and a 5 man crew?
Answer next issue...

Last week

Play: Ball relay. On a 4 man crew the wing official will almost always be covering a dead ball spot near the sidelines. How should the referee and umpire work together to ensuring that a ball be brought quickly into the new inbounds spot.
Answer: M-5-8-6-a. The referee and umpire share the roles of retriever and spotter, with whomever is nearer the ball being the retriever (obtaining a ball from a ball boy or player) and the other being the spotter (placing the ball at the inbounds spot).




Contact for details


May 29th (Sun)

BAFRA Elite Training Day

July 23rd (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

August 27th (Sat)


19th November (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

BAFRA Directors


David Parsons

General Secretary

Paul Sutton


Chalies Dean Young


Richard Vernon


Kevin Stanton


Pete Thom

Director without Portfolio #1

Peter Parsons

Director without Portfolio #2

Steve Tonkinson

The opinions expressed in this Newsflash are those of the contributors, and not necessarily of BAFRA or its Directors.

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Editor: Dean Wright - Email: